Oh trainers where art thou?

Am I the only person that gets an emotional attachment to their running trainers?  Surely not!  It was in May this year that I had to force myself to admit defeat and walk through the front door of my local Sweatshop to buy a new pair of trainers.  I felt like I was betraying my old faithfuls, the trainers that had performed so unbelievable well for such a long time.  But alas the time had inevitable come when even my old faithfuls had begun to fall apart at the seams and duct tape just couldn’t repair them.  When I thought about it, my current Brooks trainers had been going strong for 2 years now.

I returned home and took my old faithfuls off for the very last time; it was a teary moment.  As I gently put them away, I was amazed to see they were being put to rest with all my other trainers.   Had I really kept them all, was I a running hoarder?  I stood there looking at these trainers, realising I could track the years going all the way back to 2011.

These are my trainers:

Jan 2011 – Mar 2012

Asics Gel Nimbus 12

Asics Gel Nimbus 12

Not entirely sure when I bought these but I believe it was early in the year. They lasted me 1 year, 2 months.  Very hard to say how many kilometres I covered in these as I didn’t really document my runs back then.  I moved to London in Aug 2011 and I know I started to run around Richmond Park as well as along Embankment during my lunch hours.  I think it is therefore reasonable to suspect these trainers covered about 400km in the 14 months I had them.  I remember thinking how unique they looked because the laces were at an angle towards the inside of the trainer, presumable to match the contours of the foot.  They were quite a rigid pair of trainers and they certainly felt as if they gave me plenty of support to the ankle.

Briefly brought out of retirement in 2016 when I realised by Brooks Ravenna 5s were about to split open.  Went for a 15 mile run in them and then retired them again as soon as I was home.  They should have stayed retired.  It was only when I wrote this that I realised how old they were.


Mar 2012 – 29 Jul 2013

Asics GT-1000 – 100km ultra

Asics GT-1000

As my running started to progress I bought these in March 2012 and had to quickly break them in for my first ultra in May.  They lasted me 1 year 4 months and I would say a rough distance covered in these trainers was around 500kms.  Although I found these trainers incredibly comfortable, the main thing against them was that they were too lightweight and didn’t feel like they were durable enough.  Given the distances I was running these were just not giving me the support I needed.  They would have been a fantastic trainer for distances up to 5km.

Having said that, these did me proud getting me through my first 100km ultra marathon.  The fact that I had a massive blister at the end of the race was not the fault of the trainers, but more to do with the fact that I had run through so much mud that my feet were soaking.  I had to retire these soon after my ultra, but we will never forget the emotional and very painful 22 hour journey we had together from London to Brighton.


29 Jul 2013 – 10 Feb 2014

Asics Gel-DS Trainer 17

Asics Gel-DS Trainer 17

Having learnt my lesson on my previous trainers I bought these on the 29 Jul 2013 for £90.00.  I spoke to the staff at Sweatshop, had my gait analysed and discussed how far I was running.  After trying on a few recommended pairs, I went for these mostly because they felt comfortable and my loyalty to Asics. Even though they only lasted me about 7 months, I managed to cover around 550kms.  An average of 16.4p per km.  I felt as if the gel cushioning gave out far too quickly, resulting in me getting knee problems and shin splints.  I have been running off and on since I was 11 years old.  As I have grown older I have learnt that when I start to get shin splints, it is a strong indications that my trainers have worn out.  As soon as I change my trainers my shin splints disappear again.  Another thing that was troubling me slightly with these trainers was that the stitching on the side was starting to rub the inside edge of my foot.


10 Feb 2014 – 23 May 2016

Brooks Ravenna 5

Brooks Ravenna 5

I bought these on the 10 Feb 2014 for £105.00 from a Sweatshop in Teddington.  I had always bought ASICS for as long as I can remember, however when I was in Sweatshop they didn’t have any ASICS that I liked or were in my size.  The staff recommended I try Brooks as they thought they would be ideal for my gait and the distances I was covering.  I must admit I was slightly apprehensive about changing brands, but given the minor issues I was having with my last pair of ASICS, I took the plunge and went for the Brooks.  I now know these were the best trainers I have ever had as they lasted me 2 years, 3 months!!! They also covered a staggering 1,400km and the only reason I had to stop wearing them was because the sides were torn and falling apart.  They were so reliable that I called them my ‘old faithfuls’.  Looking at the stats they have been a bargain working out at 7.5p per km.


23 May 2016 – Current

Brooks Ravenna 6

Brooks Ravenna 6

After the performance of my last Brooks trainers, I went into Sweatshop in Windsor on the 23 May 2016 and automatically asked to see what Brooks they had.  I tried on a pair of Ravennas, Ghosts and Glycerin trainers.  After some debate with the shop assistance, some jumping around, jogging on the spot, ankle flexes and various other silly manoeuvres more akin to a Monty Python sketch, I chose the Ravennas.  Only after I chose them was I informed they were on offer at just £75.00.  I am now hoping the updated model last just as long as their predecessors.



Virtual Ultra Triathlon: September Update

Wow did September fly by quickly or what?  It certainly hasn’t helped that  I am away from home at the moment on a course and the routine is quite long.  Breakfast is at 0700 and then in class pretty much all the way through until 1830.  We then have 45 minutes to shower and change for dinner at 1915.  You don’t really feel like going for a run after dinner as you still feel bloated, if you choose to miss dinner then you just eat rubbish in your room.

Having said all of that I have managed to squeeze in some sessions and I am pretty much on track for what I expected this month.

So, after nine months this is where we are at with my virtual ultra triathlon stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

Completed!  I only needed to run 37km to get to my final total of 855km which was the distance from Ardnamurchen lighthouse to Lowestoft.

As I don’t want to stop running simply because I have reached this target, I now intend to push on through to 1000km for the year.  I have 141km left to go on this target.


Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 27.13km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 1315km, which means I have completed about 84.84% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I only have 235km to go.  I have slowed down considerable this month mainly because I am now not cycling to and from work every day.  I can’t sustain this level if I want to reach my target by the end of the year.  Now that my running has finished I need to put in more effort to the cycling.

My virtual location is still on the A30 travelling through Cornwall, although as highlighted last month the map does seem to be slightly inaccurate.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row 15.1km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 259km, which means I have completed about 74.86% of my challenge. The means I now have only 87km left to go, however at the rate I went this month it means I will not reach my final target on time.  I therefore need to up the rate and complete a minimum of 30km next month.

My virtual location is currently at by Battersea Power Station and moving rapidly on through the centre of London.  It has been a quiet month for rowing so I haven’t passed by many locations, however some of not are Richmond, Kew Gardens, Chiswick, Fulham and Hammersmith.


September was a good month in that I finished the running aspect of the challenge, however my cycling and rowing have taken a heavy hit.  If I am going to finish those disciplines then I really need to focus and dedicate some quality time.  In October I really need to complete 30km on the row if I am going to stay on track.  I do know that in November I will be back at work and therefore cycling every day.  This I would suspect will add 75km to my total, so If I can get 60km completed this month it means I only need to get an additional 50km on the indoor bike in November and December.

A difficult month with some work to do, but I am confident that I can still get there.